Understanding the separate waste charge and FOGO recycling charge

    Published 1 September 2022
    A guide to your waste charge and FOGO recycling charge on your rates notice.

    Separate Waste Charge

    As part of one of the biggest service changes in Port Phillip’s history, we are rolling out the new Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) recycling bins as required by the Victorian Government and requested by our community.

    Rates notices are currently being distributed, so many of you have already received your rates notices or will be receiving it in the coming weeks. As part of the notice, you will see a separate waste charge of $176.20. This charge separates waste out from general rates, for a more transparent view of what you are being charged for waste services.

    FOGO charge

    Some households will have an additional annual FOGO collection charge of $88.10. If you see this charge on your notice, it means your property is being allocated a separate kerbside FOGO recycling bin, and the corresponding charge is being applied to help cover the cost of the convenience of having a weekly kerbside FOGO collection.

    The FOGO charge reflects our tiered approach to FOGO recycling, which is based on two different levels of service provided. Households that are not eligible for a kerbside FOGO bin are not charged the $88.10, as they will only have access to using the local communal FOGO hubs. This pricing decision considers the convenience of a kerbside FOGO over communal FOGO (user pays).

    It’s a Victorian Government requirement that all municipalities provide FOGO services to residents by 2030. In response to what our community have told us you want, we are excited to introduce the FOGO service in early 2023 to all eligible houses and townhouses who have enough space to accommodate an additional kerbside bin. We will be rolling out FOGO services to apartments from July 2023

    The FOGO kerbside service allows food and garden organic materials to be collected from households each week for recycling. Utilising your new weekly kerbside FOGO service will not only reduce the amount of waste going to landfill but will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and turn those materials into compost and soil conditioner that can be used within Victorian parks and grounds.

    As the service is commencing within this rates period, this year’s annual FOGO fee of $88.10 applies to all households that will be receiving a kerbside FOGO recycling bin in early 2023.  This charge does not fully recover the cost of service, which includes delivery of kerbside FOGO bins to eligible households, followed by the weekly collection service. The FOGO fee does not fully cover the cost of the service, in order to keep this charge at a more accessible level for these households.

    Can I opt out of having a kerbside FOGO bin?

    We’re planning to send a new FOGO kerbside recycling bin to every household that’s eligible to receive one. FOGO is now a standard part of waste services similar to garbage and recycling bins. There are specific criteria that a property needs to meet to be able to opt out of the kerbside FOGO service:

    • If there is no space to store an additional bin (photo of bin storage location needs to be provided)
    • If the resident already has an alternate method for repurposing all food and green organic waste within their property (photo of property as well as proof of composting solution including organics that can’t be composted e.g. raw bones, citrus and onions).

    If you have your own composting facility at home this is fantastic, and we encourage you to keep up the great work. The FOGO bin isn’t here to replace your home composting but will instead complement your existing system. Your FOGO bin can accept all food organics materials, including meat, citrus, fish, raw bones, and lots of other things you may not already be composting. By using your FOGO bin, you can now recycle almost all your food and garden waste.

    To apply to opt out of the FOGO service, please complete a FOGO opt out application online through our service request system. If you do not meet the above criteria, your property will be receiving a kerbside FOGO recycling bin and will be required to pay the corresponding FOGO charge of $88.10.

    Our FOGO service allows Port Phillip residents to make a serious impact on the quantity of materials we’re sending to landfill. Food waste alone makes up around 36 per cent of the waste our households send to landfill. It also produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is approximately 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. By contributing to the FOGO rollout, you’ll be doing your part to reduce greenhouse gases and our impact on the environment.